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Steven Beach

Distinguished Research Professor, Co-Director, Center for Family Research
Clinical Program

Basic Information

Curriculum Vitae:
157/IBR Psychology Building
Phone Number:

Dr. Beach will be reviewing applications for the admission of a graduate student for fall 2018.


Ph.D. SUNY-Stony Brook, 1985

Research Interests

Epigenetics, Marital and Family processes, marital discord, depression and anxiety in close relationships, self-processes in relationships.

Some Recent Publications   (Click for full vita below)


Foran, H. M., Whisman, M. A., Beach, S. R. H. (2015).  Intimate Partner Relationship Distress in the DSM-5.  Family Process, 48-63.  Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 DOI: 10.1111/famp.12122

Philibert, R. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2015). The Genetic and Epigenetic Essentials of Modern Humans. In M. Pluess (Ed). Genetics of Psychological Well-Being; Oxford University Press.

Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Beach, S. R. H (2015).  A differential susceptibility analysis reveals the “who and how” about Adolescents’ response to Preventive Interventions:  Tests of First and Second Generation Gene * Intervention hypotheses.  Development and Psychopathology, 27, 37–49. doi:10.1017/S095457941400128X

Whisman, M. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2015). Couple Therapy and the Treatment of Depression.  In Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J., & Snyder, D. K. Clinical handbook of couple therapy, (5th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. ISBN 9781462513925

Beach, S. R. H., Brody, G. H. (2015).  Genetics and epigenetics in the context of family and couple problems.  In E. Lawrence & K. Sullivan (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Couple Dysfunction. Oxford University Press.

Beach, S. R. H., Foren, H. M., Heyman, R. E., Slep, A. M., Cordaro, A., Wamboldt, M. Z.,  Reiss, D., Kaslow, N. J.,  (2015). Relational Problems:  Historical Background and Current Considerations for DSM-V and ICD-11. In Erika Lawrence & Kieran Sullivan (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Couple Dysfunction.  Oxford University Press.

Foran, H. M., Heyman, R. E., Slep, A. M. S., Beach, S. R. H., Kaslow, N. J., Cordaro, A. R., Wamboldt, M. Z., & Reiss, D. (2015). Moving toward universal definitions and assessment of relational problems. In E. Lawrence & K. Sullivan (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Couple Dysfunction. Oxford University Press.

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M. K., & Brody, G. H., Yu, T., & Philibert, R. A. (2014).  Non-supportive Parenting Affects Telomere Length in Young Adulthood Among African Americans: Mediation through Substance Use.   Journal of Family Psychology, 28,

Philibert, R. A., Terry, N., Erwin, C. Philibert, W. J., Beach, S. R H., Brody, G. H., (2014).  Methylation array data can simultaneously identify individuals and convey protected health information:  An unrecognized ethical concern.  Clinical Epigenetics.

Cutrona, C. E., Abraham, W. T., Russel, D. W., Beach, S. R. H., Burzette, R., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Monik, M., & Philibert, R. A. (2014).  Financial Strain, Inflammatory Factors, and Hemoglobin A1C Levels in African-American women.  British Journal of Health Psychology. Epub ahead of print.  DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12120 

Fincham, F. D. & Beach, S. R. H. (2014). I say a little prayer for you: Praying for partner increases commitment in romantic relationships.  Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 587-593.doi:10.1037/a0034999

Beach, S. R. H., Brody, G. H., Lei, M. K., Kim, S., Cui, J., & Philibert, R. A. (2014). Is serotonin transporter genotype associated with epigenetic susceptibility or vulnerability? Examination of the impact of socioeconomic status risk on African American youth.Development and Psychopathology, 26(2), 289-304.  Doi:10.1017/ S0954579413000990   NIHMSID:604984

Simons, L. G., Simons, R. L., Landor, A.  M. Bryant, C. M., & Beach, S. R. H. (2014).  Factors Linking Childhood Experiences to Adult Romantic Relationships among African Americans.  Journal of Family Psychology, 28(3), 368-379. 
Simons, R.L., Lei, M.K., Beach, S.R.H., Brody, G.H., Philibert, R.A., Gibbons, F.X., & Gerrard, M., (2014). Differential Sensitivity to Context: GABRG1 Enhances the Acquisition of Prototypes That Serve as Intermediate Phenotypes for Substance Use. In J. MacKillop & M.R. Munafò (Eds.) Genetic influences on addiction: An intermediate phenotype approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Beach, S. R. H., Barton, A., Lei, M. K., Brody, G. H., Kogan, S. M., Hurt, T. R., Fincham, F. D., Stanley, S. M.  (2014).  The Effect of Communication Change on Long-term Reductions in Child Exposure to Conflict:  Impact of the Promoting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) Program.  Family Process. Article published online: 10 JUN 2014.  DOI: 10.1111/famp.12085

Beach, S. R. H., Whisman, M. A. Bodenmann, G. (2014). Couple, Parenting, and Interpersonal Therapies for Depression in Adults: Toward Common Clinical Guidelines within a Stress Generation Framework.   In I. A. Gotlib and C. Hammen (eds), Handbook of Depression, 3rd Edition.  New York:  Guilford Presss.

Beach, S. R. H., Dogan, M. V., Brody, G. H., & Philibert, R. A. (2014). Differential impact of cumulative SES risk on methylation of protein–protein interaction pathways as a function of SLC6A4 genetic variation in African American young adults. Biological Psychology, 96(1), 28-34. doi:10.1016/biopsycho.2013.10.006   NIHMSID:537515

McNeil, S., Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R. H. (2014). Does Spousal Support Moderate the Association Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms among African American Couples.  Family Process, 53 (1),109–119. doi: 10.1111/famp.12054.

Beach, S. R. H., Gerrard. M., Gibbons F. X., Brody, G. H., Philibert, R. A. (2014).  A Role for Epigenetics in Broadening the Scope of Pediatric Care in the Prevention of Adolescent Smoking.Epigenetic Diagnosis & Therapy, 1(1), 1 - 7 DOI:10.2174/2214083201999140320153918 

Brody, G. H., Lei, M.-K., Chae, D. H., Yu, T., Kogan, S. M., & Beach, S. R. H. (2014, February 5). Perceived discrimination among African American adolescents and allostatic load: A longitudinal analysis with buffering effects. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/cdev.12213   NIHMSID:539009

Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Beach, S. R. H., Kogan, S. M., Windle, M., & Philibert, R. A. (2014). Harsh parenting and adolescent health: A longitudinal analysis with genetic moderation. Health Psychology, 33(5), 401–409. doi:10.1037/a0032686 

Dogan M. V., Shields, B., Cutrona, C. E., Gao, L., Gibbons, F. X., Simons, R., Monick, M., Brody, G. H., Tan, K., Beach, S. R. H., & Philibert, R. A. (2014, February 22). The effect of smoking on DNA methylation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from African American women. BMC Genomics, 15, Article 151. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-151.

Beach, S. R. H. (2014).  The Couple and Family Discord Model of Depression:  Updates and Future Directions. In Christopher R. Agnew and Susan C. South (Eds.), Interpersonal Relationships and Health:  Social and Clinical Psychological Mechanisms.Oxford University Press. (pp 133-155).

Beach, S. R. H., Brody, G. H., Lei, M. K., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Simmons, R. L, , Cutrona, C.E., Philibert, R. A. (2013). Impact of child sex abuse on adult psychopathology:  A genetically and epigentically informed investigation.  Journal of Family Psychology. 27, 3-11.  Doi: 10.1037/a0031459.

Fincham, F. D., & Beach, S. R. H. (2013).  Can Religion and Spirituality Enhance Prevention Programs for Couples? In K. Pergament (Ed in chief), A. Mahoney & E. Shafranske (Associate Eds.), APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion and Spirituality. Volume II. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Beach, S. R. H., Gerrard, M., Brody, G. H., Simons, R. L, Kogan, S. M., Gibbons, F. X., & Philibert, R. A. (2013). Epigenetic effects on intermediate phenotypes. In J. MacKillop and M. R. Munafò (Eds.), Genetic influences on addiction: An intermediate phenotype approach (pp. 275-302). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Philibert, R. A., Beach, S. R. H. & Brody, G. H. (2012). Demethylation of the Aryl Hydrocarbon receptor repressor as a biomarker for nascent smokers. Epigenetics, 7(11), 1331-1338. doi. org/10.4161/epi.22520. PMID 23070629

Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Chen, Y. F..., Kogan, S. M., Evans, G. W., Beach, S. R.H., Windle, M. Simons, R. L., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F. X. & Philibert, R. A. (2012). Cumulative Socioeconomic Status Risk, Allostatic Load, and Adjustment: A Prospective Latent Profile Analysis With Contextual and Genetic Protective Factors.Developmental Psychology. epub 2012 Jun 8. PMID 22709130

Brody, G. H., Chen, Y. F., Yu, T., Beach, S. R. H., Kogan, S. M., Simons, R. L., Windle, M. & Philibert, R. A. (2012). Life stress, the dopamine receptor gene, and emerging adult drug use trajectories: A longitudinal, multilevel, mediated moderation analysis. Development and Psychopathology. 24 (3), 941-951.

Beach, S. R. H., Hurt, T. R., Fincham, F. D., Franklin, K. J., McNair, L. M., Stanley, S. M. (2011). Enhancing marital enrichment through spirituality: Efficacy data for prayer focused relationship enhancement. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. doi 10.1037/a0022207 

Beach, S. R. H., Brody, G. H. Todorov, A. A., Gunter, T. D., Philibert, R. A. (2011). Methylation at 5HTT Mediates the Impact of Child Sex Abuse on Women's Antisocial Behavior: An Examination of the Iowa Adoptee Sample. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73, 83-87. NIHMSID #252982. PMID 20947778.

Beach, S. R. H., Brody, G. H., Lei, K., Philibert, R. A. (2010). Differential Susceptibility to Parenting among African American Youth: Testing the DRD4 Hypothesis. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(5), 513-521. PMID: 20954761.

Fincham, F.D., Lambert, N.M., & Beach, S. R. H. (2010). Faith and unfaithfulness: Can praying for your partner reduce infidelity? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 649-659.
Howe, G., Brody, G., Beach, S. R. H. (2010). Microtrial Methods for Translating Gene-Environment Interaction into Preventive Interventions. Prevention Science, 11(4),343-354.

Teaching Interests

In the Past, my interactions with undergraduates have taken the form of supervising honors projects, directing supervised readings, and supervising research experience.
I continue to be interested in studying various aspects of close relationships and emotions within close relationships. Students have the opportunity to see research ideas develop and to discuss those ideas and various methods of psychological research. I do, however, require that any student involved in directed research experiences with me be available to meet with me and my team. Many of the interesting discussions take place during this time and I view it as an essential part of the learning process.


Articles Featuring Steven Beach

Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 8:39am

Congratulations to four faculty members in the Department of Psychology who have recently received national grant awards! Keep up the great work!

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